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Polluter pays principle

According to the polluter pays principle (PPP), those who pollute must pay the costs of preventing, mitigating and repairing the environmental damage caused by pollution. So, when a company's activities have a negative impact on the environment, it must pay to restore the environment and fix its mistakes. For example, if a business generates waste or hazardous chemicals as a byproduct of its operations, it must pay for the safe disposal of these potentially harmful substances.

Reflecting environmental damage in the costs of products or services can encourage individuals, businesses and governments to change their behavior and avoid further environmental degradation. It's not just about money: it's about preserving the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and, more generally, life on Earth.

The PPP was first formulated as an economic principle in an OECD recommendation dating back to 1972. This principle states that it is the responsibility of the polluter to assume the "expenses linked to the implementation of the above-mentioned measures decided by public authorities to ensure an acceptable state of the environment.

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